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April 23, 2018

Hugh Masekela to get tribute - David Muriithi

Hugh Masekela and David Muriithi in London
Hugh Masekela and David Muriithi in London

Kenya Copyright Board director Davis Muriithi, know by the street moniker DJ D-Lite, is still reeling from the news of African jazz icon Hugh Masekela's death.

"I first watched Hugh Masekela in London's Ronnie Scott Club in 1994. After that, together with a few others in 1997, we brought him to Kenya for his first-ever performance. Since then, our relationship was cemented. When I'm in South Africa, I stay in his house. He is my creative mentor. The last time he was here, he taught my son to play the trumpet. I hope my son appreciates what that means now."

Muriithi added, "I spoke to the family (yesterday morning) and they are bearing the new as well as can be."

The legendary trumpeter and singer, who was known as the "father of South African jazz", died from prostate cancer.

"Before this happened, we were in the process of setting up an East African wing of the Hugh Masekela Foundation. He really wanted to have one set up, and we will still go ahead and do it as a fitting tribute to a musical giant," Muriithi said.

He remembered Hugh as a "musical genius. He was very deep, despite the humour, and above all, he paid a lot of attention to detail. He would stop in the middle of a performance and ask the band to repeat the song, if he felt it was not being played to his satisfaction."

The South African Arts and Culture minister Nathi Mthethwa tweeted: "A baobab tree has fallen, the nation has lost a one of a kind."

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